Mansoor Azad must be released on immediate basis—Qasim Labzanki Majlis

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Mansoor Azad, A young Balochi language poet, writer and former Vice President of Qasim Labzanki Majlis – Mand [literary forum] was abducted by unknown armed men on 1st of April 2021, around 10pm from Bismillah Hotel, Karachi. 

Qasim Labzanki Majlis condemned the unlawful arrest and enforced disappearance of Mansoor Azad. “Abduction of an author of two books from a metropolitan city like Karachi is a shocking incident and it raises serious concerns,” it said.

The Majlis appealed to Sindh High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of Mansoor Azad’s enforced disappearance and ensure his safe return.

“We also urge the linguistic organisations and academies of Balochistan and Sindh to break their silence and become the voice of the abducted poets and linguists,” Majlis stated.

The forum warned that if Mansoor Azad is not released by the end of this week then we will call for country wide protests after the discussions with linguistic groups of Balochistan and Sindh.

Close friends of Azad claimed that he was arrested by the Pakistani security forces on 1st April from a hotel in Karachi. He was then “forcibly disappeared” and has not been heard from since. 

Baloch academics, especially revolutionary poets and singers, have been frequently targeted in past for their inciting poetry, allegedly by the Pakistani forces. Saba Dashtyari, a prominent poet and professor at the University of Balochistan, was shot dead in Quetta in 2011. Rehmatullah Shohaz, another eminent Baloch poet, was gunned down in Buleda in 2015. 

Ghulam Muhammad Saqib, a Brohi singer, was killed in the broad daylight in March 2019 in Khuzdar. Baloch poet Anwar Sahib Khan was abducted in a raid on his house in Pasni in 2015. Meer Ahmad Baloch, a singer of great stature, was forced into exile after a severe crackdown on him by the Pakistani security forces.

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